Local Heroes: Florida Sheriff Rescues Missing Woman with FLIR Airborne Camera

In our LOCAL HEROES series, we highlight the stories of law enforcement and first responders using FLIR technology in their mission by recognizing their heroism.

“I honestly feel like these guys saved her life,” said helicopter pilot Stuart O’Shannon after assisting the Hillsborough (Fla.,) County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) in a successful search and rescue mission earlier this month.

The pilot and Sheriff Department worked together to rescue 71-year-old Lillian Morales, which was made possible with the guidance of a FLIR airborne surveillance system mounted to the Sheriff’s helicopter.

According to WFTS-TV in Tampa Bay, on July 13, 2017 around 3 p.m., Ms. Morales, who had been previously diagnosed with dementia, left her house for a trip to the store, only to be reported as missing later that evening. It wasn’t long before the HCSO launched an aircraft fully-equipped with FLIR thermal imaging technology to locate her. Somehow she had fallen into a nearby canal, and the camera helped pinpoint her heat signature from the air, guiding deputies on the ground to her location.

For their prompt and successful mission, FLIR is honored to name the HCSO our local heroes.

To learn more about this rescue, click here.

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